Book #237: Louis The Fish

Louis the Fish -- coverDoes 1980 count as a vintage book? Probably not. But here’s an old one by two children’s book giants: Arthur Yorinks and Richard Egielski.

Poor Louis, a child born of butchers who were born of butchers, detests meat. When he turns seven, his parents give him a giant salami. When he turns thirteen he gets a turkey. Happily, he takes a job cleaning fish tanks at a doctor’s office, but when his parents die he is forced to take over the family business.

Louis the fish -- refrigerator

At the butcher shop, this poor man’s only happy times are when he is in the refrigerator. There he sits for hours and draws fish. Big ones. Little ones. Surrounded by steaks, all Louis thanks about are fish. His nightmares are terrifying.

Louis the fish -- beaten by meat

Louis starts to see fish wherever he goes. At ballgames and on the bus and at his store — everyone looks like a fish.  Interestingly, along with the decline of his health, he is always thirsty.

Spoiler: At the end of the story, Louis turns into a fish, and he’s happy about it, too. Publisher’s weekly claimed that this book, along with provoking “merry laughter, serves as a parable on the importance of being yourself.”  I suppose I agree. But mostly I like the book for its detailed illustrations and ludicrous story line.  This one would be a great companion to The Incredible Mr. Limpet, too.  ABZ

Louis the fish -- in bed



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